Logo - Wage Theft is a Crime.

What is Wage Theft?

Wage theft occurs when employers do not pay workers according to the law. Examples of wage theft include paying less than minimum wage, not paying workers overtime, not allowing workers to take meal and rest breaks, requiring off the clock work, or taking workers' tips.

Construction worker says: I worked 10 hours a day with no overtime.  I found out that this is wage theft and it's against the law.  I filed a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner's Office to get paid the money I earned.

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In California, all workers are protected by labor laws.

  • It does not matter where you were born or whether you have papers to work.
  • The Labor Commissioner's Office will not ask about your immigration status or report your immigration status to other government agencies.
  • You do not need a social security number or photo identification to file a claim or report a violation.
Workers who recovered their stolen wages.

Read about how the Labor Commissioner's Office helped workers recover over $360,000 in stolen wages.


What Can You Do to Fight Wage Theft?

  1. Learn about your rights.
  2. If you are a victim of wage theft, take action:
    • File a wage claim against your employer. The Labor Commissioner's Office can order your employer to pay you the wages and penalties you are owed.
    • Report widespread cases of wage theft to our investigators. You can report labor law violations if you have observed wage theft at any workplace, even if you do not work there.
    • If wage theft is happening on a public works project, a publically funded construction project, file a public works complaint.
    • If you experience retaliation, such as termination, demotion or other punishment for exercising your labor rights, file a retaliation complaint.

Labor Commissioner's Office

The mission of the California Labor Commissioner's Office is to ensure a just day's pay in every workplace in California and to promote economic justice through robust enforcement of labor laws. By fighting wage theft, protecting workers from retaliation, and educating the public, we put earned wages into workers' pockets and help level the playing field for law-abiding employers.

The Labor Commissioner's Office inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, and investigates retaliation complaints. Wage theft is a crime–the Labor Commissioner's Office can partner with other law enforcement agencies to criminally prosecute employers that engage in wage theft.